Ban on rental evictions to support only those impacted by coronavirus

Monday 30 Mar 2020

Date: 29 March 2020

REIWA understands the Federal Government’s position in announcing a moratorium on rental evictions of residential and commercial tenants in financial distress, due to coronavirus for the next six months, and is pleased that the policy direction appears to be specifically targeted at those significantly affected.

REIWA President Damian Collins said it is important that all tenants understand that they must continue to pay rent where their businesses or jobs have not been significantly affected.

“We are all in these challenging times together. Just as landlords and the government will come together to help support tenants in trouble, it is vital that those who are still in a solid position continue to do their part and pay their rent,” Mr Collins said.

“This temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent, will be applied to both commercial and residential tenancies. However, those who have a job at normal pay, or a business still trading well and are not significantly affected, are still expected to pay rent.

“In addition to this short-term solution, we also strongly encourage the State and Federal Governments to consider rental assistance to help ensure more tenants can continue to afford their rent - it cannot be left up to the landlords to bankroll the non-payment of rent on their own.

“Many landlords are mum and dad investors who themselves may be impacted from coronavirus and it’s vital that the government follow through on tonight’s announcement and provide rental assistance directly to landlords where a tenant is legitimately unable to pay.”

The Prime Minister has asked tenants, landlords and banks to come together to find a solution, however there are many in the industry who are already stepping up.

“REIWA agents are already doing all they can to facilitate the role between landlords and tenants, with most landlords, who are able to, willingly help those tenants who find themselves in financial stress because of coronavirus,” Mr Collins said.

“Most banks are already indicating they are offering customers the option to defer home loan repayments for six months, however that is still additional debt to the landlord. We need government rent assistance to be a vital part of the solution to this challenging situation.”